Umpteenth time is a charm?

2 January 2012

I am not even sure off the top of my head when the last time I wrote a post was…a long time ago, I know that. I’ve had a lot of personal stuff going on the last few months and that derailed my plans and intentions for a number of different things over the last 7 months. :-/ However, I find writing my blog posts to be therapeutic and fun, so I am going to try to revive the blogger in me.

I will be posting about all sorts of different things, but as my life seems to be pretty much focused on grad school/career and trying to get fit/eating healthfully, I will more than likely focus the greater number of my posts on those things.

I don’t know how often I’ll get a chance to post – I’m going to aim for about every other day, but will have to wait and see how life is going once the new semester starts up. 🙂

Spring! *happy dance*

20 March 2011

I am NOT doing very well with keeping up my public menu planning – not at all. I generally do make menus, but don’t always post them. This month, we’ve been crazy busy, so menu planning wasn’t my first priority. We’ve been eating lots of leftovers.

When I opened up my email this afternoon, I saw a recipe for a Italian Sausage Penne in Vodka Tomato – Cream Sauce that sounds really good. I think, though I’m sure it’s not low in fat and whatnot, that I’ll be making that this week. It’s finally gotten warmer and feels like Spring, so I think I’m going to start venturing away from the heavy wintery foods and start flowing toward fresher and lighter fare.

I’m excited for spring, but i’m also excited, because tomorrow we’re going to go out on a proper date! Well, it’s a double date, really, with another married couple, but us girls are looking forward to it – the boys promised to plan everything and we get to dress up. 🙂 The weather is supposed to be very nice tomorrow evening, so that will make everything just that much better! 🙂

The Menu:

Monday: date night

Tuesday: Boca Chik’n Patty and Spinach-based salad

Wednesday: South African Rice with Raisins

Thursday: Black Bean Burrito

Friday: Penne with Spicy Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce

Saturday: Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie

Sunday: Leftovers

And, there ya have it. Not a very exciting menu, but it’s something. I’ve got class Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, so I try to keep dinner simple and fast. Only a few more weeks and this term will be over with – but I am taking summer courses. Faster I get them taken, the sooner I’ll have my MA! 🙂 But, I’m going to live in the present – “Here and Now, Boys,” as the Karuna Bird reminds us.

So happy for spring! 🙂

Midweek Meal Planning

23 February 2011

Seriously – how is it Wednesday already? I knew that I’ve been busy, but not busy enough to completely forget about planning out my week’s menu before the week was half gone! It’s probably not even worth truly planning out my menu, but I might as well plan it and post it here for posterity since I have to plan it before I can go grocery shopping tonight anyway!

I’ll skip Monday & Tuesday, since they’re over and done with and head straight into Wednesday.

Wednesday: Sweet Potato Pockets

Thursday: Lasagna and salad

Friday: Burgers with sweet potato fries

Saturday: Pasta con Broccoli with salad

Sunday: Book Club – the husband is on his own for dinner!

So, there it is – short and sweet. 😉 If I ever get this blogging thing down, I’ll start including pix and recipe reviews too. But, really that’s a mighty big IF! I’ve been trying this blog for well over a year now and it still leaves a bit to be desired!! c’est la vie.


What’s cookin’ this week!

13 February 2011

Confession: sometimes, when I’m working on something which entails matching up intangible ideas and whatnot, I get really overwhelmed and frustrated. So, I will turn those intangibles into manipulatives and work with those instead.

What does that have to do with this week’s menu? Well, that’s how I planned it – with manipulatives.

As I went through my cook books tonight, I made little cards for all the recipes I would like to or do make, noting the name of the cook book and the page number on the back of the card. I hope that this starts to help me get better at planning out my menus!

So, in a way which is much easier to read, I give you this week’s menu!

Monday: MahiMahi with Coconut Curry Sauce over Cardamom-Coconut Rice

Tuesday: Black Bean Burritos

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Pork Loin with Cranberries & Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips and Onions

Thursday: Burgers & Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Friday: Pasta con Broccoli & Salad

Saturday: Dinner Out @ Texas Roadhouse for Hubby’s & his 2 BFFs’ Birthdays

Sunday: Chicken and Sweet Potato Pockets & Salad

I’m not doing brilliantly at keeping to my menu, but I seem to be getting better at it. 🙂

Menu Plan: 1/31 – 2/5

31 January 2011

I’m finding myself little inspired in the kitchen these days. :-/ It’s a little disheartening. I want to attribute it to the fact that I’m pretty busy with grad school and family stuff right now, but I think I’m affected also by the weather and the lack of exciting things at the grocery store. I have little occasion to cook – other than daily meals for myself and my husband – which doesn’t do much for inspiring the Kitchen Goddess in me.

I have a ton of cookbooks and am familiar with a ton of online resources – so planning meals should be easy, right? Maybe I’m inundated with *too many* choices. I need to get together a repertoire to make meal planning easier. *sigh*

So, without further ado, here is this week’s menu plan:

Monday: Penne with Blue Cheese and Squash^

Tuesday:  Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken* w/ Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips and Onions^

Wednesday: Potato & Carrot Soup^

Thursday: Pasta con Broccoli (a la The Pasta House)

Friday: Orange Almond Chicken*, Brown Rice, stir fried veggies

Saturday: MahiMahi Coconut Curry^ w/ Cardamom-Coconut Rice^

*Prevention’s All Time Best Weight Loss Recipes

^Just 5: 125 recipes with 5 ingredients

First Menu Plan of 2011! (1/24 – 1/30)

23 January 2011

I must get back into planning my weekly menu! I wish I could pre-plan all of my meals, but that is more than I can do right now! I’m so uninspired at the moment, it takes me forever to do the most basic menu plan. O_o

The notations which you’ll see below, such as (8 p+), indicate the Weight Watchers PointsPlus value for the item. In addition to planning my meals, I am trying to be much more mindful of my points. I am actually having a really hard time eating *all* of my points in a day – probably b/c I do not make sure to get all of my dairy and oil in. :-/

Monday  24

WW’s Chicken & Black Bean Burritos* (8 p+) with veggies added

Tuesday 25

Easy Salmon Cakes (9 p+) with Creamy Dill Sauce (2 p+) and Salad (3 p+)

Wednesday 26

Weight Watchers’ Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew (5 p+)

Thursday 27

leftover Weight Watchers’ Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew (5 p+)

Friday 28

Boca Original Chik’n Patty (4 p+), 1/2 tsp of honey (0 p+), 1/2 tsp dijon mustard (0 p+), WW’s Sweet Potato Fries (4 p+)

Saturday 29

Baked Potato (5 p+) topped with 1/2 c. tuna (canned in water) (3 p+) and 1 oz of shredded cheese (3 p+)

Sunday 30

Snacking at Book Club. :-/ Not necessarily safe, BUT at least I’m planning for it! lol.

Our book this month is Island by Aldous Huxley, so I plan on making some island-inspired snacks.

WW’s Coconut Shrimp (6 p+)

Piña Colada Dipping Sauce

Banana-Papaya Salsa (but I’ll prolly have to sub out the papaya)



* from the WW cookbook, “Just 5: 125 recipes with 5 Ingredients”



Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

26 September 2010

It’s really hard to come up with clever titles for my posts – I don’t know how people who blog every day do it. Perhaps with enough practice, it will come more easily for me. 🙂

I don’t really have a lot to write about tonight, but I thought I’d do a little update from the last couple of days.

Saturday was cold, wet and rainy all day long. This did not make me a happy girl yesterday, as I had plans to go to an OUTDOOR concert with a friend. My friend, Emilie, and I did go to our concert – braving the rain and cold armed with fleece and hoods. Fortunately, it stopped raining about an hour after we got there, and it wasn’t raining very hard at all.

You’re probably thinking that this must have been some amazingly awesome concert to have made me buy a ticket for it knowing that more than likely it’d be rainy and cold, huh? It totally was.

Not only was this a festival concert with like a gazillion and one bands, but it was a show that I really wanted to see like ALL the bands – a first for me. I especially wanted to see the headliner – The Smashing Pumpkins.


I love the Smashing Pumpkins – I’d have to say that they’re in my top 4 bands, along with Tori Amos, Depeche Mode and the Cure (which is #1). So far, I’ve seen Tori thrice, The Cure also thrice, SP once and Depeche Mode not yet. I really had thought that I’d lost my chance to see Smashing Pumpkins since they broke up and everything a few years back – but good things happen. 🙂

I missed Dreams are for Rookies, AM Taxi and Civil Twilight, but did get to hear Cake, Anberlin, the Limousines, The Beautiful Bodies and A Silent Film – they all rocked my face off! And I gotta say, I loved the particular English accent of the singer from A Silent Film. ❤

Today is not so wet, but quite chilly – a good day for sipping tea and cooking! Which brings me to the next part of my update – dinner! I deviated a little bit from my menu, but not by much. I made everything but the green beans – instead of those, I made a small spinach based salad.

so, this is what it turned out looking like. Salad, chicken/sweet potato pocket, leftover mashed sweet potato filling and roasted spiced acorn squash.

My favorite comment from the husband during dinner, “What is this?” (holding up a piece of squash) “Acorn squash with spices and salt.” “It’s good!” Lol.

I’ll take it that he approved of dinner. 😉 thank you Martha Stewart.

Mindful Menu: 26 September – 2 October

24 September 2010

Sunday: Chicken & Sweet Potato Pocket Pies (from September 2010 issue of Everyday Food); acorn squash; green salad (didn’t make roasted green beans, had salad instead)

Monday: homemade Gnocchi (from September 2010 issue of Everyday Food);  (too late, too tired to make the green salad when finally done making the gnocchi!)

Tuesday: broiled pork chops; tomato tart (from September 2010 issue of Everyday Food); roasted green beans (having these tonight since we didn’t have them sunday)

Wednesday: Potato Soup

Thursday: Boca Chik’n patty sammie, tater babies

Friday: Elephant Souffle

Saturday: Vegetarian Black Bean Tostadas

well – this is the plan anyway…i think I did alright with it. Wednesday and Thursday are my busy nights with class, so I’ve tried to make it as quick and easy as possible those two nights. Husband will more than likely take any and all leftovers to work for dinner, so I can have “girly” meals the nights he’s working! lol…

P.S. (Tuesday) I doubt that I’m going to try and edit menu posts like this again – I’ll just keep it like I have been with posting a new entry showing the edits. WordPress isn’t saving my strike-outs, for one – and this is just kinda confusing. even for me.

back from the abyss

24 September 2010

So it’s been about 2 whole months since I’ve blogged a menu or anything for that matter. Ugh – sometimes life gets kinda crazy and if you don’t take the time to slow it down and breathe, it just keeps on going – y’know?

What have I been up to that’s so crazy the last two months? Well, really, a lot of things have been taking up my time and energy.

After posting that last time in July, I was hardcore looking for a dreaded J-O-B. When I wasn’t doing that, I was deep cleaning my house and planning an awesome vacation for my BFF Jen and her husband Pete, August 6 – 20. We had an amazing time together, full of being a tourist in my hometown, lots of spending time with family and friends and a road trip to St Louis and Chicago! It was Pete’s first time in America – and I wanted to make a good impression so that he’d not hesitate to come back! 🙂

That Friday, the 20th, after Jen and Pete returned to England, we went out to celebrate Ade’s birthday (Ade is Jen’s brother and my sister-in-law’s husband!). Saturday the 21st, husband and I volunteered in the beer tent at a local festival. Monday the 23rd I started an MA program in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second or Other Language.

On the 24th, my brother’s wife had a baby girl. 🙂 Thursday the 26th we adopted a new puppy that a friend needed to re-home.

This week, my ratbaby, Calliope, died and my nephew’s fiancee had a baby girl- all in the same day.

In between daily housework, school work, looking for a job, and puppy training, the blog I was never very good at keeping fell by the wayside. A lot of other habits I was trying to make – but wasn’t doing such a hot job with – also fell off, like my Weight Watchers. :-/ Today, I’ve decided to slow my roll and get back in touch with my personal goals and more in tune with myself.

I’m feelin’ pretty good about today so far – though it seems like I haven’t really gotten a lot accomplished by the looks of the house, but I’ve made some preliminary framework plans to keep on top of everything over the next few months. I’ve done the dishes! (I HATE doing dishes!) and I’ve made biscuits and sweet tea as well as started a menu plan and pruned a couple of the plants which survived my brown thumb over the summer. 🙂

Expect more posts from me here on out – in fact I’m going to try to get a menu plan up here in a bit. I have to go to the grocery store, so might as well plan my menu for next week, eh? 😉

I’m trying to figure out how best to upload pix, but I’m such a n00b when it comes to the technical stuff of a blog that it’ll take me a minute to figure it out.

Mindful Menu: 7/19 – 7/24

19 July 2010

I’ve not been on top of things at all like I “should” be…but more on that in its own post. I really want to get back to my weekly menu planning – it made my life so much easier and my eating so much healthier!

Also, let me confess that I have been HORRIBLE about catching up with my google reader – I need to re-organize it. I get most of my healthy food ideas and recipes from the blogs I follow, like Kath Eats, Oh She Glows and The Front Burner….but I’ve not been following them daily like I normally do, so I’m totally uninspired in the kitchen right now. :-/

Sunday: i threw together some whole wheat rotini, with Knorr from-a-packet Parma Rosa sauce and pre-cooked frozen shrimp sauteed in butter and garlic powder (i don’t know why i didn’t just use real garlic) it was pretty good for a quickly-thrown-together meal.

Monday: It’s dinner time right now, but we are running hours late since we slept i rather late today. I am not sure what we’re having….We got a delivery of locally raised beef from Hoover Beef today, but it’s frozen, so no beef for us tonight. :-/ I have to go to the grocery store before we can have dinner – I’ve pretty much exhausted our proper meal in a jiffy items.

Tuesday: Beef. It’s totally what’s for dinner tonight. I’m excited about my friend’s new Beef business – locally-raised, grass fed beef by a conscientious agrarian rocks my socks off. 😉

I’m thinking I’ll make BBQ short ribs (unless I can get the Husband to grill them!) and pasta-salad-from-a-box (i need to get a good from-scratch recipe) and roasted green beans, if green beans are back in stock at the store.

Wednesday: Husband’s back at work tonight, so I’m on my own for dinner. Grilled Chicken Salad with fresh produce from the Farmer’s Market sounds divine! (I really need to get in on a CSA next year!)

Thursday: I may be spending the afternoon/evening with my mom and 2 of my nephews, so I’m not 100% sure what’s going on for dinner. If I don’t go out, I plan on having a grilled/toasted ham and cheese sammich and fresh fruit.

Friday: Let’s get these Salmon Cakes over and done with! 😉 I’ve put them on the menu almost every week, and every week never get around to eating them. and let’s have a big fat healthy salad with these cakes! 😉

Saturday: cook out at my brother’s house for his girlfriend’s son’s birthday, though for all intents and purposes, he’s my nephew. 🙂 I’ll prolly share some of my Hoover Beef bounty with them – take a pound of burger over for grilling. 🙂 or make round steak kebobs.

wow – i can’t believe it’s taken me 2 hours to compile this menu! I guess when you have distractions like looking for your checkbook (still can’t find it – it’s in the house somewhere!) and Words with Friends and epic discussion threads (eReader vs eReader) on, I really shouldn’t be all that surprised. o_O

Mindful Menus